Concert Review: NEEDTOBREATHE with Parachute at the LC Pavilion (Columbus, OH)
I’ll be honest – I almost bailed on going to this show. It was a bit of social luring that convinced me to finally buy a ticket the afternoon prior. In retrospect, this show would have been worth it even if I was alone.
The South Carolina homeboys that make up Needtobreathe aren’t out to impress people. They just really love playing straightforward Americana, folksy, southern rock n’roll. Banjoes? Yup. Harmonica? Double yup. Flawless harmonies? you better believe it. The band opened their set with the huge “Devil’s Been Talkin’.” This was a worthy opener, as I have those backup vocals echoing in my head even now as I write this. The dozen song main set was The Reckoning heavy, but the album is so good it frankly didn’t matter. We saw appearances of rockers like “White Fences” and “Drive All Night” but there were plenty of oldies too – just regrettably nothing from their debut album Daylight. One of the highlights of the set for me was hearing the extended medley of “Washed By the Water” and “Lay Em’ Down.” Since the former is one of my favorites by the guys I was a bit irked to hear that this song was part of a medley when reading about the tour online, but live in reality it formed a nice blanket around “Lay Em’ Down.” “Let Us Love” and “The Outsiders” took us one album back, mainstream hit “More Time” was presented in a more subdued fashion, and b-side “Cops” brought the atmosphere the closest to hard rock the evening would come. For the encore, the band played a new song “Difference Maker” (that’s where the four part harmonies came in – at one point sung without any electric amplification whatsoever. Can you say soul?), and followed that with another classic, “Something Beautiful.” After explaining the meaning behind the latest album, Bear Rinehart lead his brothers in an all out jam to title track “The Reckoning”, complete with four people involved in a drum jam. Epic. The stage setup was pretty awesome, too.
Parachute opened the show (I unfortunately missed Drew Holcomb) with a half hour of straightforward pop rock. The band wasn’t awesome, but wasn’t bad either. They know how to jam as well, at one point bringing out a sax. This added some flavor to an otherwise vanilla set.